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functional food

Make good use of foods and herbs that are rich in natural antioxidants and immune-enhancers which work synergistically to protect you.

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Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

Rhodiola - Renew Body And Life

“Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners” Shakespeare One of the most powerful healing plants in the world originates in the dry, hostile environment of Siberia. For eons it was prized as a source of strength for Viking warriors, Russian cosmonauts having to endure the demands of space travel, and Olympic athletes. A beautiful perennial plant with pink, red or yellow flowers, it is called “Arctic Root” or “Golden Root.” Its proper name is Rhodiola rosea. If you don’t already make use of this incredible gift from nature, you don’t know what you’re missing. QUEEN OF ADAPTOGENS Rhodiola is the most versatile adaptogenic plant in the world. An adaptogen is a plant or herb which acts in non-specific ways to improve health and increase resistance to stress, without upsetting the body’s biological functions. Numerous studies carried out in France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Russia confirm what has been known for centuries by shamans and wise woman healers: Rhodiola brings endless blessings to anybody using it. Here are just a few of its benefits. restores normal menstrual cycle in women prevents and clears fatigue increases vitality enhances immunity improves athletic prowess supports heart strength promotes improved wellbeing protects muscles when exercising helps endurance increases the metabolism of fats increases work capacity reduces stress and damage from stress supports thyroid function improves sexual function in men Whew! I could go on and on. The scientific research into this beautiful plant is voluminous and inspiring. I first learned of Rhodiola many years ago when Professor of Medical Science, Israel Brekhman—the much celebrated Russian research scientist in organic medicine and biologically active substances in Vladivostok—visited Britain. Brekhman’s career focused on the genetics of plants and herbs, and on improving health and wellbeing. It was he who first coined the word adaptogen. NON-TOXIC HEALING One of the wonderful things about Rhodiola is that it has a very low level of toxicity and very few side effects. (Since safety issues are as yet not available for pregnancy and lactation, however, it should be avoided in these circumstances.) There are many ways in which Rhodiola—which now grows in Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska—as well as its native Siberia, can be used. One of the most surprising is this: If you can get hold of the plant itself (unfortunately in some countries, Rhodiola plants are not available because of agricultural import regulations), it will thrive in your garden. You can cook its shoots and leaves which are edible, prepare its roots as you would any starchy vegetable, serve its leaves raw in a mixed salad, and even serve its shoots prepared as you do asparagus. More about Rhodiola in a moment. Meanwhile, there are some important things you need to know about using herbs of any kind. NATURE’S MEDICINES Plants hold powerful medicine for men and women. To state such an obvious truth seems absurd, since every culture in the world from the beginning of human history has turned to herbs, trees, and other plants as medicine. Yet in our post-industrial world, we find ourselves in the absurd position of having to rediscover our medicinal and health-promoting heritage—not only by unearthing long neglected local practices, often passed on verbally from woman to woman, but also by investigating herbal traditions from other parts of the world: Tibet, China, India, Japan and Native America. The benefits of making nature’s medicinal plants a part of your day-to-day life becomes obvious when you realize that the origins of most drugs lie in plants. Using plants and herbs for strength and healing offers many advantages. First, their powers for enhancing wellbeing go far beyond their ability to alleviate symptoms. For centuries, women healers preferred to use the whole of most plants. They had no belief in the practice now propounded by today’s mainstream medicine which chooses to use isolated ingredients and make them into patented drugs. In every medicinal plant, there are two kinds of compounds, each of which has an important part to play in treatment. The first are the active ingredients—these are what capture the imagination of chemists and drug producers to make the biochemically twisted molecules that Big Pharma turns into patented drugs. The second are the compounds and substances which drug manufacturers ignore altogether—even seek to eliminate—but which good herbalists insist play a vital supportive role in the healing a particular herb can bring to the body. These compounds work synergistically with the active ingredients, making them more easily accessible to the body or dampening the effect of what are often very potent plant chemicals—helping to protect the body from side-effects. Some even help protect from overdose by causing nausea if the body's safe level of tolerance is passed. It is the synergy of these primary active ingredients and their secondary helpers that makes herbs work so well. There are many different substances and compounds in plants and herbs which offer health-supporting abilities. The volatile oils for instance, the tannins, phenylpropanoids (like those in Rhodiola), alkaloids, bitters, glycosides, and flavonoids. WAYS AND MEANS You can take herbs in many different ways—as infusions, decoctions, syrups, tinctures, suppositories, capsules, and in baths, ointments or creams. You can grow your own herbs or buy them in bulk dried. Using the dried plant is by far the cheapest way to use herbs, since you can buy a large amount at a time very cheaply and make up your own infusions, decoctions, suppositories and ointments, as well as tinctures. You can even buy empty gelatin capsules and fill them with dried herb yourself. However, it is often easiest if you are a complete beginner to rely on good quality ready-made herbal products from a good supplier—whole herbs, herbs in capsules, herbal extracts and tinctures. Tinctures are made by using water and or alcohol to draw out a plant's chemical constituents and preserve them. They are taken in a little water. These are best either bought ready-made from a reputable supplier, or left until you have mastered the use of herbs in other ways, as each herb demands a specific ratio of water and alcohol to plant material. MEET THE SOUL OF A PLANT It is worth remembering that, just as people have different personalities, so do plants. Once you get to know the actions of various herbs—and the best way of doing this is to use them or to watch them work on other people—you begin to develop a feel for the character or soul of each plant. Eventually you develop a skill that enables you to call on the right plant or plants when you need their help. But it is important to remember that plants, such as Rhodiola, are slower acting than drugs, so you need to be patient. It is necessary to use most herbs for a few weeks before you come to experience its full benefits. That being said, I sometimes find a plant can will bring almost immediate relief too. One big advantage of using herbs is that many herbs, when taken steadily over a period of time, will do the job for which they were being taken so well that you no longer need to use them. Another important thing to remember when using herbs is that some work well in combination. Whatever herbs you are using, they need to be fresh, clean and either well-crafted or grown organically. Some herbs on the market today have been grown in countries where pesticides and herbicides are sprayed heavily. Others are not fresh or have been irradiated or are contaminated with chemicals. Often suppliers themselves are not even aware of how the dried plants have been handled. BACK TO RHODIOLA The active constituents of Rhodiola root are many. This is one of the reasons that this plant acts so powerfully in so many ways to benefit your health. The most important ingredients it contains include Rosin, Rosavin, Salidroside, and Tyrosol. Although Rhodiola can be prescribed by an herbalist as a tincture or extract, for many reasons, this plant is usually best taken in capsules. In no small part, this is because its taste in tincture form is far too intense for most people. For those of you who, like me, love to know the minutiae: A typical dose in tablet or capsule form for long-term administration is 360-600mg per day when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin, 180-300mg when standardized for 2% Rosavin, or 100-170 when standardized for 2.6 Rosavin. Some products list the Rosavin in milligrams, such as 6mg of Rosavin per 120 mg of Rhodiola root, or 12 mg of Rosavin per 240mg of Rhodiola root. These formulations are an even more robust 5% Rosavin content. Even so, such products provide a large margin of safety. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Always read labels carefully. (This is one of the reasons I order almost all of my nutritional products—including capsules of Rhodiola—from iHerb, where they provide both clear in-depth ingredient information as practically no other company does, and they ship DHL incredibly fast worldwide.) Always check out where any herb such as Rhodiola has been sourced. Make sure the raw materials it contains are the most active and desirable ingredients. Use products only from a first-rate manufacturer who relies on high-quality processes and extraction methods. Reject nutritional supplements of any kind that contain flow agents like magnesium stearate, which is made from stearic acid. It can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients via the digestive system. Thanks to Rhodiola rosea’s stunning versatility, it is able to nurture the nervous system, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, immune system and musculoskeletal system all at the same time. It’s little wonder, given its wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits, that in this time of physical, emotional and financial pressures, demands and work loads, growing exposure to environmental stressors and increasing costs of health care, this unique inexpensive herb with its excellent safety profile is gradually becoming better known. Most people see an improvement in energy levels, mood, mental clarity, memory, stamina and endurance within 2 to 6 weeks of using it. I for one wouldn’t be without Rhodiola in my family herb cupboard. Personally I take it twice daily as does my son Aaron. You want to choose the very best Rhodiola you can buy. I’ve investigated a good dozen readily-available products, so 2 of my personal recommendations below: Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea This is a wonderful product in no small part because of the way Gaia encapsulate it as a liquid which is rapidly absorbed. Each capsule contains the equivalent of 2,000mg of the dry herb. I keep mine in the fridge once the bottle is open. Order Gaia Herbs, Rhodiola Rosea from iherb Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola Another excellent Rhodiola 100% fresh freeze dried. Order Eclectic Institute, Rhodiola from iherb

Secret Powers Of Plants

Secret Powers Of Plants

Herbs are hardy beasts. Like street kids who grow up in tough surroundings, these plants are survivors. Most have had to withstand harsh weather and little nourishment from the soil. This helps clear out the weaklings, making their genetic strains stronger. Their strength has also led them to develop an array of potent plant powers—phytochemicals: flavonoids and saponins, tannins and phytosterols. HEALING FOR YOU These plant chemicals, which play a beneficial role in the developing herb, also bring us health when we use them. Take bitters, for instance. You find them in herbs like dandelion, mugwort, gentian, horehound, burdock, and yellow dock. Botanists believe bitter elements probably help protect the plant from being eaten in the wild. Bitter herbs are wonderful for improving digestion in our bodies. They help heal the lining of the gut, improve the way digestive enzymes, juices and hormones flow, and stimulate the flow of bile. Bitter herbs seem to validate that old saying that the worse something tastes, the better it is for you. MIND BENDERS Alkaloids—plant chemicals which botanists tell us help regulate plant growth, while discouraging damage from predators—can exert powerful effects on our minds when we use them. Coffee is full of alkaloids. So are opium, black tea, cocoa, and tobacco. All of these plants are considered sacred by our ancestors, going back thousands of years. Many immune-enhancing plants, so useful in protecting from illness and clearing infection, are also rich in alkaloid compounds. Take echinacea and goldenseal, which I have used for half a century to heal my family when they were threatened with infection of any kind. Meanwhile, gums and resins such as myrrh, pine, and the Ayurvedic remedy guggul, taken from branches and woods, carry the life blood of a tree or shrub. They transport nutrients to wherever the plant needs them. Many of these plants, including the wonderful guggul, can be used to enhance our own circulation and even to rebalance good and bad cholesterol. EAT YOUR COLOR The brilliant colors of flowers, stems, leaves and fruits are not just beautiful to look at. They are rich in flavonoids—phytochemicals responsible for vivid yellows and oranges and reds, that attract bees and other insects for pollination. Such glorious living hues also attract animals. Then the beasts who eat these plants unwittingly act as carriers for their seeds. Colorful flavonoids bring to us humans great anti-aging benefits. They are powerful antioxidants against free-radical damage—even more powerful than the well-recognised Vitamins A, C, E and the minerals selenium and zinc. Plants rich in flavonoids help protect us from degeneration, they strengthen our blood vessels and the collagen in our skin, they guard our cells from oxidation destruction, they calm inflammation, and help keep the body free of water retention. Some flavonoids can even help clear muscle spasm. SUPERB SAPONINS The saponins which you find in roots and leaves lather like soap. Some are useful expectorants for coughs. Others help us regulate our hormones or counteract stress. Meanwhile, the essential oils of herbs, found in leaves and flowers, fruits and barks, help plants like mint, bergamot, lavender and ginger attract pollination thanks to their signature fragrances. And they protect these plants from disease thanks to their anti-microbial actions. In our lives, some essential oils make it possible for us to create beautiful perfumes and incense. Others have antiseptic actions, others improve digestion, stimulate circulation, improve the look and texture of skin and do a hundred other good deeds. The anthraquinones, found in the roots and leaves of herbs like yellow dock, protect plants from fungal and bacterial destruction. For us, plants rich in these yellow phyto-chemicals can help stimulate bile production, boost a sluggish liver, and improve digestion. It is fascinating to become familiar with the actions of phytochemicals. The more you learn about them, the more you realize just how all-encompassing herbal healing can be.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

People everywhere are hungry for clear, practical, scientifically-validated information about how to make safe and simple use of herbs in their day to day lives. I too was once hungry for this kind of information. I discovered that working (and playing) with herbs did not need to be complex and confusing. It could be sheer pleasure. For me it was like walking down a path where a wonderful surprise is revealed at every turn. For more than a million years our ancestors lived with herbs. They cooked with them, healed with them, scented their bodies and sanctified their prayers with them. On a molecular level, the human body recognizes a herb when we take it. Come to know the nature of a specific plant and it will enhance your life immeasurably. In a very real sense you can come to know a herb the way a woman knows her lover. The spirit of a plant meets the spirit of a human. Expect magic. You won’t be disappointed. ALOE VERA According to both traditional practices and recent scientific experiments, the right plants can work wonders on the human body. Aloe heals The cool, slippery gel oozed out of a leaf of the aloe cactus has been used for almost 3000 years to treat burns and cuts and to undo the devastating effects of too much exposure to the sun. Recent studies show that phyto substances from the aloe actually penetrate damaged tissue encouraging healing, increasing blood flow and easing inflammation and pain. Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic if only extracted from the leaf pulp. It contains carboxypeptidase and bradykininase which relieve pain. Make a friend with Aloe Vera If you have a good, healthy aloe plant that is at least three years old (and you go about it sensibly) you can cut the leaves for use without doing lasting damage to the plant. Relief for burns and cuts lies inside the leaf. Cut a leaf, split it open, and smooth the gel you find inside over the burn, or just lay the leaf, gelside, on the burn and hold it in place with a bandage. The classic definition of a herb is a non-woody plant which dies down to its roots each winter. This definition is far too limiting. It was probably made up by 19th Century European botanists who had never seen the rainforest in which, of course there is no winter to die back in. Neither had they ever heard of woody trees and shrubs such as hawthorn and ginko and elder which are some of the best selling herbs on the market these days. I define a herb as a medicinal plant. It can come from any climate and be a leaf, a bark, a flower or a root. It can be home-grown or wild, a weed, a spice, a plant which is used for its healing or culinary or beautifying properties.Once you discover the power of herbs it is easy to become so enthusiastic about them you go overboard trying to use them for everything. It is not wise to take lots of different plants all at the same time. Or you might start to think that since a small amount of something is good for you, taking twice or three times that amount will be even better. It isn’t. If you want safe and sane herbal help here are a few guidelines to follow: Herbs occasionally interact with conventional drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor that you intend to try a herbal remedy. If you want to use herbs to treat a serious medical condition, find yourself a good medical herbalist to work with. Don’t do it yourself. Take no more than recommended dosages of a herb or combination. If you notice any adverse reaction, stop right away. Use only the very best herbs whether they be fresh, dried, teas, tinctures, extracts, or capsules. Give plants enough time to work. Many herbs, such as St John’s Wort and Wild Yam, are slow to build beneficial effects on the body. Look to six weeks for results.

Bite Into Energy - Food Combining

Bite Into Energy - Food Combining

Remember food combining, developed by William Howard Hay MD? It has changed thousands of people’s lives, protecting them from fatigue, weight gain, degenerative diseases and early aging. The basic principles behind food combining are simple: Don’t mix foods that fight. Never eat proteins and starches at the same meal. Never eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. And do not eat dessert after a meal. If you do, the dessert gets trapped in the stomach and starts to rot, since it can’t be digested properly. These fundamentals of what has long been known as Conscientious Food Combining are easy to learn and even easier put into practice. The benefits of doing so are many, including freedom from reflux, poor digestion and long-term fatigue. DIGEST TO THRIVE Your body expends more energy on the digestion of food than on any other function. Think how sluggish and sleepy you feel after a traditional Sunday lunch. It may surprise you to learn that the energy your body needs to digest food is even greater than that which you use when taking strenuous exercise. When you take in food, your system has to redirect blood supply—and therefore vital life energy—away from the brain and other organs towards the gut. Once there, your energy reserves get busy breaking down your meal. When you eat foods that fight each other, or more food than your body needs, you greatly diminish your overall vitality. You also build up body pollution. Any food—even good quality food—in excess tends to pollute the body. PROTEINS AND CARBS ARE NO-GO Leave behind the old practice of meat-and-potatoes or fish-and-chips. When the wrong foods are mixed together, this further delays digestion and produces toxicity while increasing both appetite and digestive upsets. Most people’s bodies are not designed to efficiently digest more than one concentrated food in the stomach at once. In the simplest terms, you need an acid medium to digest protein and an alkaline one to digest starch. Eat concentrated proteins and starches together—fish and chips, bacon sandwiches, meat and potatoes—and nothing gets digested. An awareness of this principle lies at the core of virtually every tradition of natural healing. Eating concentrated proteins and starches at the same meal wreaks havoc with digestion. It increases the number of incompletely broken down food particles that find their way into the bloodstream to cause food allergies, depression and exhaustion. Concentrated proteins such as cheese, eggs, fish and meat must have an acid medium for good digestion. If there are any starchy or sugary food including breads, pastas or sweets in the stomach at the same time, they neutralize the acid medium, so the proteins remain incompletely digested and poorly assimilated. All carbohydrates foods need an alkaline medium for digestion and must be eaten at a separate meal. What you can get away with is the occasional garnish for protein foods or fruits—such as sesame seeds or raisins—but you would not want to add them in greater quantity. OUT WITH Convenience FOODS Ready-in-a-minute pre-cooked meals, junk foods, and the standard meat-and-two-veg Western meals are incredibly energy-draining. They present your digestive system with the greatest difficulty of all. Virtually all of these manufactured items are grossly deficient in essential nutrient. for it to break down and make use of. Convenience foods and junk foods are also grossly deficient in essential nutrients as well. So are chemically fertilized fruits and vegetables and foods which have been excessively processed to alter their natural state. Convenience foods contain additives such as artificial colorings and flavorings which are potentially harmful. Such foods include breads, sugar, most meats, sweets, and coffee and all the ready-in-a-minute snacks and meals that fill the shelves of our supermarkets. They have no place at the food combining table. CREATE VITALITY If you want to build energy quickly, start right now to separate your concentrated starches from your concentrated proteins, eating each at separate meals. This will help protect your system from a build-up of acid wastes, restore metabolic balance, and resolve the energy crisis which takes place when digestion is overtaxed. Most important, it can bring you a whole new kind of energy which can have you looking good and feeling better than ever with each week that passes. It is not only separating the kind of foods that you eat that matters for an abundance of energy. You need to be just as conscientious about what you eat. The human body is not genetically equipped to handle the refined flours, sugars and excess quantities of poor quality proteins that make up the typical western way of eating. Our ancient ancestors, whose genetic makeup we share, had no bread, sugar, junk fats or pre-packaged, pre-cooked convenience foods. They ate simple, ordinary, wholesome foods—as much of them as they could kill or gather. Their diet was high in green leaves and vegetables—all complex carbohydrates—and moderate in protein. This is the way our own bodies genetically expect to be fed: Good, wholesome, preferably organic foods, simply prepared and eaten as closely as possible to their natural state. FREEDOM TO THRIVE This way of eating calls for real foods rich in fiber, and plenty of the best fats: Organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, for instance. The health-enhancing properties of real living foods have long been tested and eulogized by highly respected European and American physicians—from Gordon Latto and Philip Kilsby in Britain, Max Bircher-Benner in Switzerland and Max Gerson in Germany, to Henry Lindlahr and JK Tilden in the United States. Eating for energy asks that you combine your foods sensibly, and that as much as possible you choose foods grown on healthy organic soils and served as closely as possible to their natural state, either cooked or raw. This is not as complicated as it sounds. Here are the basic principles of eating of high vitality eating. They quickly become second nature. EAT FRUIT ON ITS OWN Fruit passes through your digestive system very rapidly. It needs little help from digestive enzymes to break it down. If you try to eat fruit at a meal with other foods, its digestion and assimilation are slowed drastically and you can get fermentation in the gut causing indigestion, wind and discomfort. If you have a blood sugar problem, insulin resistance or an overgrowth of Candida albicans, then stay away from sugary fruits altogether, or eat no more than a couple of servings of berries a day. Instead of fruit for breakfast you might have a green drink made from the tops of green vegetables in a juicer or a blender. MAKE ONE MEAL A DAY A BIG SALAD A vibrant, living salad based on home-grown or store-bought sprouted seeds and green vegetables is the mainstay eating for high energy. It’s the best way to get optimal support for rebuilding cells and tissues, rebalancing biochemical processes, and restoring normal metabolism. Sometimes, of course, this is not possible—for example, when you have to eat in restaurants all the time. In this case, you can replace the living salad with a big dish of lightly steamed or wok-fried fresh vegetables cooked in coconut oil and served with a side-dish of soup or a protein food. That being said, the more often you are able to make a living salad the focus of the meal, the sooner you will reap the rewards of your new lifestyle. Remember that your digestive system needs time to complete the digestion of a meal before you put anything else into it. Four or five hours need to elapse between lunch and dinner. Otherwise digestion is not complete, and increased toxicity ensues. Always drink as much filtered or spring water or herb teas between meals as you like. But don’t drink liquids at a meal as they will dilute the important digestive enzymes. AIDE MÉMOIRE Eat fruit or a green drink in the first half of the day followed by a protein or carbohydrate lunch and dinner, both of which should include a big, fresh, raw salad. Leave four to five hours between lunch and dinner for efficient digestion. Eat as much as your body needs and listen to its signals of how hungry you really are. Take your time, chew thoroughly and stop as soon as you feel you have had enough. Never overeat. Get rid of packaged convenience foods that rob you of vitality and undermine well-being. These include breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, sugar and all the so-called goodies made from it. Cut back on tea and coffee. If you drink either, make sure it’s organic so you avoid taking chemicals and pesticides into your body. After wheat, coffee is the second most sprayed commodity in the world. Restrict alcohol to a glass or two of good wine with a meal, once a day. Never eat a concentrated starch food with a concentrated protein food at the same meal. Eat fruit on its own, or leave at least 20 to 30 minutes between a fruit starter and the next course of your meal. You can pick and choose your own foods and make up your own menus once you get your head around these basic principles. Practice Conscientious Food Combining for a month and I think you’ll be delighted with how you look and feel. You can also say goodbye forever to mainstream medications designed to treat GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease—with all their nasty side effects. Meanwhile your energy will just keep on building.

I must have flowers

I must have flowers

Whatever else happens in my life, I must have flowers. These gifts from Nature nourish the soul. We scatter their petals when we marry. We send bouquets of them to celebrate the birth of a child. We decorate our homes and our places of worship with them. We use flowers to comfort the lonely and the ill. We even honour the end of a person’s life by laying floral wreathes on a grave. Not only do flowers play a central role in the rituals of life, they bless our ordinary daily existence by blossoming in our gardens, waste ground and hedgerows – and gracing our windowsills by protruding gaily from a cracked teapot. Perhaps it is the velvet softness of their petals and their luminous colours that make these affirmations from nature so precious to us. Maybe it is the uplifting energy they carry – an energy you sense lying in a field of poppies or when you go into a florist’s shop. It could be the fragrance of flowers, or the transient nature of their coming and going. I don’t know. Ancient Wreaths Our passion for flowers and the awareness that they carry deep healing and sanctifying energies are both as old as history itself. Not long ago, archaeologists digging in the Cave of Shanidar within the Zagros Mountains of Iran unearthed nine bodies of primitive people and discovered that, at least 60,000 years ago, men and women were carrying out flower rituals similar to those we use today. The archaeologists found soil samples in which clusters of pollen from twenty-eight different species of flower lay in a circle forming a wreath which had been laid to rest with human remains. One of the interesting things about the find was that the flowers these primitive people chose to use as a sacred and healing offering to their dead were not the most beautiful, nor were they the most readily available in that area. The flowers from which these wreathes had been made were chosen from plants that are specifically known for their healing properties - hollyhock, grape hyacinth and horsetail - all of which we still use today for medicinal purposes. Precious Offerings The Ancient Greeks and the Egyptians used aromatic oils and flowers for healing too, as they did for embalming, expanding consciousness and for sanctifying space. The Bible is riddled with words of praise for flowers and what they have to teach us, both about the realms of Spirit and about the ordinary world in which we live most of our lives. It tells us “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Mathew 6:28-29). In Song of Solomon 2:12 “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is at hand…” Soul Healers Not only does humanity have a passion for flowers. Flowers have a passion for us. They love to share with us their beauty, their healing powers – their very life force. “When I touch a flower, I am touching infinity,” said the American botanist George Washington Carver: “Through the flower I talk to the Infinite… a silent force… that still small voice.” American clairvoyant and healer Edgar Cayce celebrated the healing power of flowers again and again. He insisted that flowers bring companionship to those of us who are lonely, that they speak to the “shut in”, and that they bring Divine grace and upliftment to everyone. That is certainly my own experience of flowers. The Time Is Now Despite our longstanding love affair with flowers - despite the way for thousands of years we have used them for healing and to mark life’s passages, never in recorded history have we experienced a greater need for their healing and their blessings than right now. For we who live in the post-modern world often feel ourselves to be alienated, isolated, suspended, caught somewhere between the magnificent technology we have created and a longing to bond with the earth and with our own souls. Flowers can help bridge this gap. I think they do this better than anything else in nature. Flowers delight us, bless us and heal us. They clear the spiritual anorexia so widespread in urban life and help fill up our starving souls. They remind us of our own simple humanity as well as our essentially divine nature: They whisper to us of the splendour in the world around us—a world of which we humans are the guardians. Most important of all our relationship with flowers helps realign our ordinary day-to day lives with the authenticity of our unique soul energies. A big statement to make? Yes, but having worked with flower meditation for many years, having explored the potential flower essences have to build bridges for us between our inner truth and our outer lives I have come to believed with all my being that this is so. How Do Flowers Heal? No-one knows for sure. There are so many of their elements which carry healing potential that it would be hard to list them all: Their colours influence our mind, our energy levels, our clarity of thought. Colourful flowers and the plants they come from often carry health-enhancing nutrients within them - anti-oxidants such as flavinoids, which give plants their wonderful colours and help protect from degeneration, and other phyto-chemicals that help to strengthen immunity, improve circulation or delay ageing. Then there are the more recently discovered vibrational energies which Dr Bach called on when he fashioned flower essences and, of course, essential oil treats and treatments for person and place. Last, but by no means least, is the power of flower meditation. Here is where the soul of a human being meets the soul of a flower to bring healing, friendship and blessings to both. To Each His Own Flowers are as individual in their personalities as they are in their looks and fragrance. Some love the night. They only display their beauty and emit their fragrance once the sun goes down. Like night-owl people, at their best in the wee small hours of the morning, these blossoms have a passionate nature. They often carry exotic names like Queen of the Night, Night-Blooming Silene, and Gilliflower. Other flowers, like goatsbeard, poppy and marigold, open their petals at the crack of dawn then close down each evening and drift away into sleep. The sunflower stretches itself boldly towards heaven, while the bright blue borage flower, worshiped by Celtic warriors for its ability to bring courage in battle, bows its tiny head towards the ground. A shy soul with a great power to heal, borage prefers to go unnoticed – despite its heart-rending beauty. I have learned much about the individual personalities and soul nature of flowers not only from meditating on them and using them for healing but also from photographing them. Some, like peony, love the spotlight. Put them in front of a camera and they upstage everything else. Many have very strong likes and dislikes about where you plant them and where you place a bouquet of them in a room. On one table a particular flower becomes recalcitrant. But move it to the top of a bookcase in front of a window and suddenly it surrenders its beauty to the camera the way a woman yields to the touch of her lover. Each flower has unique healing properties and each speaks its own silent language. Learning that language, listening to flower wisdom and opening your heart to a flower’s healing energy can be a joyous and often life-changing experience. Spotlight On Flower Essences Get to know half a dozen of the most useful essences. Choose them depending on where you are in your life now and as you change explore more of these wonderful floral friends. Here is my personal selection with some information about each essence. It can open up a whole new world for you of beauty, healing and joy. Here are a few flower essences you might like Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain Vervain is essentially a plant of ease. It eases heartache, headache, stomach-ache, concern for the future and bad luck. Dr Bach made a flower essence from vervain to ease stress and tension. Vervain is an essence for those of us who tend to ‘live on our nerves’. These people are likely to take on tasks beyond their strength then force themselves onward through will-power alone. They are the martyrs of this world who will do anything for their cause. Vervain essence is calming. It helps you to slow down long enough to listen to your own needs, and to the opinions of others as well as to let you restore your strength. In all its forms vervain brings relief. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Vervain from iherb Flower Essence Services, Lotus The lotus is no symbol of abstract perfection never to be achieved. All true lovers of the lotus will tell you that true spirituality grows out of the depths of material form. Step by step it reaches toward the light. The unique power nestled within the lotus’ genetic structure is this: Only this flower among all water plants is born from the muck with such strength of stem that, instead of floating on the water as do others, the power of its life force raises it a foot or more above the pond. Flower essence made from lotus can help when you find yourself knee deep in an endless swamp. Meditating on the lotus flower opens you to a pride-free experience of your soul’s divinity. I find both the essence and the meditation useful in blearing illusions and dissolving spiritual pride. Lotus reminds us that all true spirituality is deeply rooted in imperfection. Order Flower Essence Services, Lotus from iherb Flower Essence Services, Sunflower Sunflower essence helps those on a spiritual path, who tend to forget their bodily needs. It brings grounding and helps us manage times of dramatic change with ease. Its wisdom is a fine example of the Australian aboriginal idea of 'keeping your head in the stars and your feet on the ground'. Sunflower essence also helps strengthen self-esteem. It can improve the way you relate to people in authority by allowing you to maintain your sense of self in the face of someone else’s demands. Order Flower Essence Services, Sunflower from iherb Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence The mallow is a flower of the heart. Its flower essence can help you to align the demands of your head with the intuition of the heart – in effect, to hear the whispers of your soul. Mallow is of great help to those who ‘lead from the head’ rather than from the heart and who often feel that life is a struggle although they are not sure why. This essence helps you to integrate your deepest beliefs and desires with your daily thinking and, in doing so, to live out more fully your true nature. Order Flower Essence Services, Mallow, Flower Essence from iherb Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle Honeysuckle flower essence was a favorite of Dr Bach – father of all flower essences. He prescribed it “to remove from the mind the regrets and sorrows of the past.” It is an essence which can help anyone who is stuck in the past, either through regret or nostalgia. As Dr Bach insisted, the important thing about any experience is that we learn from it, not continue to relive it. Honeysuckle flower essence helps put the events of the past where they belong – behind you – so that you can go forward into the future with the enthusiasm and innocence of the child reborn. Order Bach Original Flower Essences, Honeysuckle from iherb Flower Essence Services Calendula The flower essence of calendula is both warming and calming. It can help speakers, writers, teachers and leaders use words with clarity, compassion and creativity. The flower boasts a benign energy that makes it easier to express yourself and at the same time honor the opinions of others. Marigold can be especially useful for people who find their discussions too often end in arguments. This flower essence brings warmth and patience. It encourages you to listen as well as to make your point and furthers the cause of real communication. Order Flower Essence Services Calendula from iherb

The Power Of Herbs

The Power Of Herbs

If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that my life is full of herbs. The wonderful gifts that herbs provide include not just their dazzling power to heal and strengthen, but their magnificent beauty. I’m moved to the core whenever I take time to notice the way a plant looks and smells, when I sense the inexorable persistence of its growing, and its willingness to grace my life with its delicate splendor. When you become aware of a plant’s beauty at every level, even the most commonplace interaction between you and the plant feels sacred. OF GODS AND DEMONS The ancient Egyptians believed that incense was the sweat of the gods that had fallen to Earth. We associate saints with beautiful fragrances and devils with foul smells. I remember once visiting an onsen—a spa in the mountains of Japan. This is a place of healing where hot sulfurous water pours forth from natural underground wells. I walked down endless corridors before reaching the sulfur pool which was enclosed to make it possible to use even during the icy winter months. I was alone in the small room. The pool sides were encrusted with yellow growths, and sulfurous steam filled the room. As I climbed naked into the streaming water, I felt afraid. That’s how deeply ingrained our sense of uneasiness can be when faced with the overwhelming smell of sulfur, which our culture and our ancestors have always associated with the devil. FILL YOUR ROOMS WITH BLISS Use herbs and plants to care for your pets, or to cleanse the space in which you live and work. They help remind us of who we really are, and what is fundamentally important in the desacralized environment in which most of us spend most of our lives. One of the things I most love to do is fill my bedroom with lilies. These are my favorite flowers—but they have to be the white oriental lilies or the marvelous Stargazers, as these are the most scented. Over the years, I’ve come to know lilies well. I know that they give off the greatest amount of fragrance between two and three in the morning. The beauty of their fragrance at this time is so intense that it often wakes me up. Sometimes when this happens, it seems to me that these flowers—so generous with their gifts—are calling to me, asking me to celebrate their wondrous beauty. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through the smoke”. The original way in which fragrance was used in human life was to create a union of divine and mundane reality, not only in the lives of priests, but of ordinary people. Our sense of smell plays a powerful role in rituals. Scent is one of the means by which we create the bridges between the transcendent and the day-to-day. It’s just like if you say a prayer before you eat, the very act of eating nourishes your body and your soul too. CLEANSE AND SANCTIFY When you move into a new home, or you feel the need to cleanse or make sacred any space—bedroom, kitchen, workplace, or the whole house—try doing it with the traditional sacred plants first: Desert sage, copal, sweet grass; even dried lavender, thyme and rosemary. I cut back my herb plants three or four times a year, and they love it. It makes them grow stronger and bushier. I then take the cuttings and tie them in small bunches with brightly colored ribbons, and hang them from my kitchen ceiling to dry. Once dry, I can use them for potpourris, sachets, and of course, sanctifying space with their smoke. HERE’S HOW Take a bunch of dried herbs and light them over an open metal biscuit tin to catch the sparks, so that they don’t reach the floor. I use a long rectangular tin that once held a bottle of malt whisky for this. I know other people who use baking trays and turkey tins. When the herbs begin to smoke, walk around the space to be sanctified, lifting up the burning plants with the tin beneath them. All the while, ask with your heart and mind that the room be cleansed and dedicated to whatever purpose you intend for it. This could be to make a joyous harmonious space; a space in which creativity can flourish—this is something I love to do—or a space for meditation, sleep, prayer or making love. It is your intention, coupled with the cleansing abilities of the burning plants, that makes it all happen. When you are cleansing and dedicating the desired space, make sure that you offer up the smoke to all corners of the room, and to the six directions—north, south, east, west, above and below. And when you’ve finished, thank the plants for their help. They will hear you and celebrate their own beauty..

Sacred Truth Ep. 69: Olive Oil Corruption

Sacred Truth Ep. 69: Olive Oil Corruption

Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to find a great tasting extra virgin olive oil? I did until quite recently when I discovered a confidence game that’s been going on for years. Let me tell you about it. A worldwide adulteration of olive oils has been taking place for years. Extra virgin oils are being diluted, contaminated, and filled with additives, which destroy their taste, texture, and health value to those of us who buy them. Between 75% and 80% of all extra virgins oils sold in the United States as well as 50% of brands sold in Italy and elsewhere do not even meet the legal standards required for them to be labeled “extra-virgin.” They are being fraudulently diluted with poor quality oils and other substances from North Africa and elsewhere. As a result, many bottles labeled "virgin olive oil" contain very little olive oil. Instead, they are filled with seed oils like sunflower, peanut, and canola as well as liquid fats. These counterfeit oils are then deodorized using chemicals and heat to take away the rancid smells they carry. These processes kill off the magnificent taste of genuine extra virgin olive oil. They destroy this oil’s health-giving properties.  Scientists at University of California, Davis collected 186 extra-virgin olive oil samples from different countries found on the shelves of retail stores in California. Seventy-three percent of these failed to pass an authenticity and valuation test. They’d been doctored with cheaper oils, filled with omega-6s like corn, soya, and peanut oil. They’d been exposed to high temperatures, light, and aging. Some had developed processing flaws because of improper storage and their having being filled with over-ripe olives. With all of this going on, how can anyone find a true, top-quality extra virgin olive oil? We’ll look at this in a moment. In the meantime, there’s some wonderful breaking news about extra virgin olive oil—the real McCoy—that you will want to know about.  For many years scientists had assumed that olive oil’s greatest value comes from its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. For half a century these people continued to promote the value of one particular monounsaturated fat—oleic acid—on the grounds that it can increase high density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol, and decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) believed to be "bad" cholesterol. They were so in love with this assumption that they even experimented with it by feeding people pure oleic acid on the assumption that this would do the same thing. Their experiment failed.   Here’s the great news. Intelligent new research has discovered the greatest health benefits we get from a fascinating other source—namely, from the polyphenols that top-quality extra virgin olive oils contain.  How much do you know about polyphenols? These are naturally occurring compounds in fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, and cocoa as well as in extra-virgin olive oil. Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants, which plants themselves rely on to protect themselves from UV radiation and attacks from pathogens. They have marvelous benefits for fighting disease. So far more than 8000 polyphenolic compounds have been found in common plant species.   We now know that monounsaturated fatty acids, which were once believed to be of great benefit to us, come nowhere near close to matching their health-enhancing benefits. However, polyphenolic compounds improve LDL density, increase HDL functions, reduce LDL oxidation, and even enhance blood. So it is they that make unadulterated extra virgin olive oil such a blessing for our health and our enjoyment.  Anti-inflammatories, free-range scavengers, and some polyphenols also carry heart-protecting and anti-carcinogenic properties. They enhance the availability of nitric oxide. This helps prevent the lipid oxidation associated with atherosclerosis. Recently, many studies have indicated that polyphenols can work together to protect against diabetes, endothelial dysfunction, neurodegenerative illnesses, osteoporosis, and many other long-term diseases. And they bring these gifts without creating any known side effects. It's also polyphenols that create top-quality extra virgin olive oil’s unique spicy-peppery and fresh-fruity taste. Their presence even improves the shelf life of top-quality olive oils and helps protect them from rancidity. Try frying top-quality extra-virgin olive oil together with water and see how it goes. This not only preserves the initial antioxidant value of the food you’re cooking; it can even boost a food’s antioxidant content. Finally, if you want to know what polyphenols feel and taste like, then put a tiny bit of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil in your mouth and wait a few moments. You’ll experience a tingling at the extreme back of your throat. This is a sure-fire indicator that the olive oil you are testing is rich in polyphenol. Go for it!  How do you find a truly top-quality extra virgin olive oil you can trust? It can take some serious searching, but here are two brands that I personally trust, which you might consider.  The first is Life Extension’s California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Authentic, unadulterated, and organic, it is grown by a small family in Yolo County California. It is made from handpicked green olives within hours of harvesting. It has also been tested and found to be extraordinarily high in polyphenols—in fact, more than 600 mg per kilo.  The other that I use all the time myself is Bionaturae Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which comes from Northern Italy and is based on five varieties of Italian olives grown on a small family farm where olives ripen more slowly. Within 24 hours of hand harvesting these olives are pressed at a century-old frantolio where expertise and passion have transcended three generations. Of course all the olives are cold pressed, at temperatures no higher than 27 degrees Celsius.

End Colds And Flu

End Colds And Flu

When it comes to prevention and treatment, opt for nature power every time. Simple herbs work better and are far safer than conventional medical “solutions”. They can keep you from being laid low by illness, even when people all around you are dropping like flies. If you are generally healthy, yet lead a stressful lifestyle, the occasional cold is simply your body’s way of trying to force you to get some extra rest and clear out toxic waste. However, if you find yourself spending most of winter with your nose in a handkerchief, then you need to take preventative action. Colds and most flu are caused by viruses. There are many natural ways to help protect from them. Viruses cannot replicate themselves without entering your cells and altering their function. Prevent a virus invading your cells, and you will stop cold and flu in their tracks. Giving your immune system a boost for the colds and flu season is the key to doing this. Here’s how: Eat well—plenty of fresh vegetables and some low-glycemic fruit, and cut out all packaged convenience foods. They are worthless when it comes to protecting or enhancing your health. At first sniffle, stop eating cooked food. I often don’t eat anything at all—just take live, fresh organic juices like carrot, spinach, apple, celery, kale—whatever I have in the house or can pick from my organic garden. Animals stop eating when they feel unwell. So do children. Your body needs all its strength to get rid of the invaders. Trust this. Boost your immunity by wrapping yourself in a comforting blanket, watch your favorite film or listen to music you love. Have a glass of fresh raw juice. If you prefer something warm, make yourself a bowl of tonic soup out of organic vegetables. Remember, your body is trying to clear itself of stuff that does not belong in it. Make time to let the clearing take place. Think back to the discoveries of two Nobel Prize winners—back when the Nobel Prize still meant something: Start by taking 3 grams (that’s 3000 milligrams) of vitamin C four times a day. This may sound excessive, but if you are under-the-weather or your immune system needs a boost, your body will soak up vitamin C like blotting paper. It’s worth remembering that we don’t make our own vitamin C like other animals. If we were goats, we would be making 5 grams of vitamin C per day or even more. But we humans can’t make our own, so we need to supply it. Your body will flush out any vitamin C it doesn’t need. If you find your bowel movements are loose, then reduce the amount you are taking a little. You can rest assured that your cells are being adequately flushed with ascorbic acid. If you have a delicate tummy, go for a brand that’s “buffered.” Personally, I take 3 grams of Vitamin C 3 or 4 times a day whenever I feel a cold or flu threatening, until 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared. And how do you live a cold-free, flu-free life from now on? Eliminate cereal-based, grain-based and sugar-based carbs. Eat a large, raw salad for one meal a day. This is the best possible way of enabling your body to rebalance and rebuild itself and restoring metabolism to its peak level. Eat plenty of “high water” foods. Your body is 70% water. For it to cleanse itself properly, you need to make sure at least 50-75% of your daily diet high-water foods—like fresh, low-glycemic fruit and vegetables. Eat most of them raw. Drink plenty of clean water—up to 3 liters a day if ever you feel yourself coming down with a cold. Avoid coffee, milk—which is mucus-forming—and alcohol. Make good use of the delicious herb teas now available. It’s all so simple, yet so powerful to keep yourself healthy. Try it and see. I think you will be delighted!

Sugar Conspiracy Still Rages

Sugar Conspiracy Still Rages

Corrupt information about sugar from advertisers, multinational food corporations and mainstream media abounds. Meanwhile, an unsuspecting public often swallows what they’re told, hook line and sinker. For the sake of your health, you need to become ever more savvy about which products you can feel good about buying and which to avoid completely. Bear with me. I’ll lay out the bare bones of what you need to be aware of as you wend your way around the continually expanding selection of sugar-related products deceptively disguised as “good for you.” SWEET TRUTHS Sugar purveyors have got away with murder. Along with governments who have been supposed to guide us on what to eat to stay healthy, they have for decades wrongly told us that eating fats is dangerous for our health. Multinational food and drink manufacturers cunningly decided to replace fats in the convenience foods they sell with sugar to make their wares more palatable. The vast majority of shoppers, consciously attempting to follow “official” advice, wholeheartedly embraced all the sugar-filled packaged foods they were offered. Many shoppers are now waking up to how dangerous sugar is to their health and their life. But we have a long way to go. Sugar is the most damaging of all the carbohydrates. Ordinary table sugar consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The glucose part gets digested in your stomach. Then it enters your bloodstream, where it makes your blood sugar rise. This triggers insulin release—a major cause of the development of insulin resistance. The other 50% component of table sugar—fructose—acts differently in your body. It does not affect your blood sugar, and we do not yet know for sure what part fructose may play in the release of insulin. So we are still being taught that eating and drinking fructose fine. This makes fructose healthy, right? Wrong! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW When you eat a piece of fruit—say, an apple—the fruit sugar it contains comes wrapped up in natural fiber including pectin, a soluble fiber which helps your body eliminate heavy metals from your system. It can take you 10 minutes or so to munch your way through an apple. It takes even more time for your body to break down the fiber and absorb it. This means that the fructose in the apple you eat is released relatively slowly. As a consequence, its fructose can be processed a little at a time by the liver, which is the organ that handles fructose. However, when you drink a nice big glass of apple juice or a soda (which contains 10 times more fructose than an apple) it can take as few as 10 seconds for you to swallow it all. Then your liver gets bombarded with a very dangerous form of fructose known as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An excellent article published in the prestigious journal Nature, “The Toxic Truth About Sugar,” points out that the consumption of the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup has increased one hundred fold since 1970. “We’re being poisoned to death,” says Robert Lustig, MD. “That’s a very strong statement, but I think we can back it up with very clear scientific evidence.” Lustig and his colleagues suggest that sugar be regulated in the same way alcohol is regulated. The human body, especially the liver, never evolved to handle the kind of fructose load that it is now getting. What does it do? It responds by turning much of the fructose you take in into fat deposits. It also makes you highly prone to cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and type 2 diabetes. SUGAR INFESTATION In the 19th century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today, each of us consumes between 150 and 200 pounds of it a year—much of it hidden in convenience foods, fruit juices and sodas. Because sugar, added to so many processed foods, is everywhere, it is virtually unavoidable. Millions of poorly informed people continue to consume 500 calories or more every day in added sugar alone. What few people yet know is that sugar acts upon the same areas of your brain as alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes do, creating cravings, unnatural hunger and an addiction for yet more sugar. The excessive amount of “stealth” sugar in processed foods has become the backbone that supports the profitable disease care business worth billions. Chronic high blood sugar and insulin don’t just make you fat and predispose you to chronic diseases, they age you. Sugar also undermines the integrity of your skin. When you eat a diet full of non-vegetable carbohydrates—grains, cereals and sugars of any kind—your body gets busy fabricating wrinkles, sags, a puffy face and a lackluster complexion. And, as a result of the chronic high blood sugar and insulin resistance which develops over time, you can end up without the energy to do anything to change it. HEALTH DESTROYERS High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is something food and drink manufacturers have used in ever-increasing quantities since 1978. It was originally a worthless by-product of the corn industry. That is, until someone had the bright idea of turning it into syrup and pouring it into sodas, cakes, breads, cookies, ready meals, even smoked meats and fish—you name it. Nowadays you can find HFCS just about everywhere in packaged foods and drinks—juices, sodas and fruity yoghurts, luncheon meats, even in smoked fish. Foods that most people still believe to be “healthy” are now riddled with this cheap, dangerous stuff. Not surprisingly, HFCS is ultra-sweet—55% fructose and 45% glucose. Because nothing raises blood sugar levels and triggers insulin release more quickly than sugar in its many forms, eating anything full of sugar gives you an immediate ‘high’. Then, it can just as quickly bring you down, leaving you craving something else sweet to keep going. Want to do one thing which can dramatically improve your health, your weight and your good looks? Just stop eating sugar, including fructose, in any form, as well as any foods or drinks that contain it. Beware of what you buy because it is often not even listed as an ingredient on labels. HOW TO CUT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE It’s easy. Change your way of eating from a diet of packaged convenience foods to pesticide-free, whole organic foods that are unprocessed. Never use canned fruits in recipes that need sweetening. Instead go for fresh, low glycemic fruits or top quality stevias. Use organic seasonings to create great flavors for your dishes. Most often, the sugar content of a food has been deliberately hidden by food manufacturers by giving it a name that shoppers will not recognize. Given the dangers implicit in using sweeteners, it’s equally important to be cautious when looking for alternatives to sugar itself. These fall into three main categories: Artificial sweeteners—which you want to avoid like the plague. Sugar alcohols. Natural sweeteners. All artificial sweeteners are harmful, each in its own way. These include aspartame—the worst of the lot. You’ll find it in Equal and NutriSweet; sucralose, which you’ll find in in Splenda; saccharine, which you’ll find in Sweet and Low, as well as many other artificial sweeteners by different names. There is much evidence to back up how dangerous these are. Avoid all of them if you care about your health. Sugar Alcohols with “ol” in their name such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol and lactitol can spike blood sugar but beware. Just because some product label says “sugar-free” this is not necessarily the truth, nor can you be sure it is calorie-free or low-sugar. Probably safest of them is xylitol, but only if you use it occasionally and very sparingly. (By the way, it is deadly for cats and dogs.) “Natural Sweetener” does not necessarily mean natural. Agave Syrup and Agave Nectar can be even worse than HFCS. It’s a misnomer to refer to them as “natural”, despite the advertising hype that has most of the world still believing they are. Higher than any other sweetener on the market, Agave has virtually no nutritional value. As for honey, which has become seriously distorted as a result of the hideous damage being done to bee colonies, it too is to be avoided unless you happen to gather it from your own hives. The Safest Choices: Stevia is an exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America. This plant has been used to sweeten herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. It’s a godsend for enhancing health and reducing your sugar intake. It’s great for sweetening drinks and baking dishes. But make sure you use only the best. All sorts of so-called stevias such as Truvia and Purevia continue to be promoted by multinational corporations. They call themselves “all-natural sweeteners”. In reality, they have been manufactured only from “certain active ingredients” in the stevia plant, not from the whole plant. As a result, they are distortions of the real thing. Don’t use them. Another good natural sweetener is Lo Han Guo, which comes from a Chinese fruit. It too is good, but more expensive than stevia. Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 12 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

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